I've been in the beauty industry for over a decade so you would think I've at least, by now, found the perfect lipstick. But it's a harder task than you'd think - yes, really. I'm always having to compromise on something. A good lipstick wears nicely for a few hours and has a decent punch of colour, but a great lipstick needs to be so much more: matte in texture without drying the lips, low maintenance enough to last the day at work without needing regular top-ups in front of a mirror (no, thank you) and a good selection of shades for any scenario. The dream product looks easy and faultless without too much bother. Is it too much to ask?
I have no interest in the 'revival' of lip gloss under the guise of a glossy lipstick, either. Sure, if you're a teenager lip gloss looks great, but who has time to reapply it every 30 minutes and assess the damage after a Pret lunch? Not me.
So I was pleasantly surprised when a package from the American brand Glossier landed on my desk last week, with six shades of its reformulated, redesigned Generation G lipsticks. Although I like the brand, I don't use many Glossier products. I figured that for quite a young, millennial-focused brand, its main foray into lipsticks wouldn't be good for women over 30.
But then I tried the lipsticks and they are, quite frankly, game-changing.
The beauty is in the formula. It is described as a 'sheer matte' texture, which is a first for the industry. Usually a sheer formula has a glossy sheen to it, rather than a proper grown-up matte texture. You can apply one layer of these lipsticks (which come in flattering shades including a gorgeous pillar-box red and a warm berry shade) for a muted pop of colour. You don't even need a mirror to apply them, they're that easy. If you want a punchier look, you can keep building the colour without ever feeling like you have masses of product on your lips.
The texture is waxy without being drying. The formula includes safflower oil which moisturises the lips and a synthetic beeswax which acts like a long-lasting comfortable sealant of colour. The result is a just-blotted lipstick that works as well with hardly a scratch of any other make-up on as it does for an evening event paired with a full-on smokey eye.
I've tried far more expensive luxury lipsticks that don't come close to the easy and quality of Generation G - they're worth every penny of their £14 price tag. Now to find that elusive perfect mascara...